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Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Old Mar 6, 16, 8:06 pm
  #226  
 
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
No 1% hidden markup noticed.
A suspended rock in my heart just got lowered to the ground...

Originally Posted by Michael Ad View Post
You can get a PIN for an SPG card? That's cool.

Or are you sure you set one? Maybe it'll take anything if the card is really chip and sig?
Since I don't see Cash Advance on my statement, and I assume Amex SPG's PIN is for Cash Advance, I bet the kiosk worked with Amex in a way that Amex accepted any possible input of PIN as a Sig verification.

Not secure, but convenient.

My initial point is that a Chip and PIN enabled A+ failed in this situation...


Just want to point out, there are some major currency fluctuation around the world after China posted its growth forecast. If you see some bad rates, it's probably that the settlement dates' rates were just as bad as that.

And in conclusion, MC (A+ particularly) is the best for market currencies; for controlled currencies like CNY, Visa is actually the best.

I have some major hemorrhage of my bank account last week in China totaling $40k. The transaction was split into three cards, Visa, MC, Amex. Those have been all posted.

I'll gather the data later when I have time to post here. Preliminary results show that Visa better than MC better than Amex. CNY also took a climb during the settlement period of those transactions and I ended up paying more in USD than I would if using transactional date's rates. But the trend stands.

Wait for my later post guys!
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Old Mar 6, 16, 8:50 pm
  #227  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
Since I don't see Cash Advance on my statement, and I assume Amex SPG's PIN is for Cash Advance, I bet the kiosk worked with Amex in a way that Amex accepted any possible input of PIN as a Sig verification.
My understanding is that when no supported CVM is available, online PIN can be used (with the correct coding in the message that a supported CVM was not available, however that works).
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Old Mar 7, 16, 12:19 am
  #228  
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
That's why I signed up for Revolut.
But earning no points/miles is just not the FT way!

Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
And in conclusion, MC (A+ particularly) is the best for market currencies; for controlled currencies like CNY, Visa is actually the best.
Why would you say Visa is the best for controlled currencies? I did an AED transaction on SPG Amex recently and it was exactly at the appropriate rate.
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Old Mar 7, 16, 9:37 pm
  #229  
 
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To all and Dear Kremmen:

This is the result of my $36k spending of CNY.

Visa: CSP, charged CNY 97000, posted $14,835.86, the rate is 6.538212; 14836 UR = $148.36 (1 cent per point), effective rate is 6.604255

MC: A+, charged CNY 67000, posted $10,251.07, the rate is 6.535903; 20502 A+ = $205.02 (1 cent per point), effective rate is 6.669288

Ames: SPG Business, charged CNY 67200, posted $10,289.07, the rate is 6.531202; 10289 SPG = $174.91 (1.7 cents per point), effective rate is 6.644150

Clearly, with a climbing CNY for the period, Visa outperformes MC outperformes Amex. CNY is a quasi-controlled currency.

With rewards considered, A+ is a really good choice in China; Amex SPG provides a similar effective rate and has the benefit of no DCC; CSP has the best rate but the worst effective rate, but it could be better if you value UR more.

Huge hemorrhage, right?
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Old Mar 8, 16, 2:49 am
  #230  
 
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Originally Posted by Kremmen View Post
But earning no points/miles is just not the FT way!
I only use Revolut when my A+ PIN doesn't work. Which is very rare.

I think I'll live without earning points on a couple of $100.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 2:51 am
  #231  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
To all and Dear Kremmen:

This is the result of my $36k spending of CNY.

Visa: CSP, charged CNY 97000, posted $14,835.86, the rate is 6.538212; 14836 UR = $148.36 (1 cent per point), effective rate is 6.604255

MC: A+, charged CNY 67000, posted $10,251.07, the rate is 6.535903; 20502 A+ = $205.02 (1 cent per point), effective rate is 6.669288

Ames: SPG Business, charged CNY 67200, posted $10,289.07, the rate is 6.531202; 10289 SPG = $174.91 (1.7 cents per point), effective rate is 6.644150

Clearly, with a climbing CNY for the period, Visa outperformes MC outperformes Amex. CNY is a quasi-controlled currency.

With rewards considered, A+ is a really good choice in China; Amex SPG provides a similar effective rate and has the benefit of no DCC; CSP has the best rate but the worst effective rate, but it could be better if you value UR more.

Huge hemorrhage, right?
IMHO taking the rewards into consideration distorts what we're trying to achieve in this thread.

That said, did you make all transactions on the same day/did they all post on the same day? Do those rates match the rates on the V/MC sites?
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Old Mar 8, 16, 3:07 am
  #232  
 
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
IMHO taking the rewards into consideration distorts what we're trying to achieve in this thread.

That said, did you make all transactions on the same day/did they all post on the same day? Do those rates match the rates on the V/MC sites?
Exactly. And seriously undervaluing the CSP rewards at that. Definitely destroys the point of comparing exchange rates.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 6:47 am
  #233  
 
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
My understanding is that when no supported CVM is available, online PIN can be used (with the correct coding in the message that a supported CVM was not available, however that works).
Amex has a online account passcode and a passcode for telephone services authentication. I used the one for telephone which is a 4-digit number.

Should've tried using a random number and see whether it works. Next time it is.

Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
That said, did you make all transactions on the same day/did they all post on the same day? Do those rates match the rates on the V/MC sites?
Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
Exactly. And seriously undervaluing the CSP rewards at that. Definitely destroys the point of comparing exchange rates.
Guy, don't diss my work like that, OK...

I said if you value UR higher it could be different. I was using conservative values here, which is 1 cent. SPG's 1.7 cent is conservative as well. You can always look at the first rate and ignore the "effective rate". I made two both available for a reason.

That being said, I used the three cards back-to-back on a single machine, and no DCC was involved. That's why I value this comparison much.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 7:36 am
  #234  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
Amex has a online account passcode and a passcode for telephone services authentication. I used the one for telephone which is a 4-digit number.

Should've tried using a random number and see whether it works. Next time it is.
So what I imagine (translating to human here) is the transaction went something like this:

[Machine] Hey card, what CVMs do you support?
[Card] I support signature and no CVM.
[Machine] **** you, I don't do that **** *cardholder verification failed.* - hey, customer, can you give me a PIN or something?
[Customer] *types whatever they can come up with as a PIN*
[Machine] Thanks customer. Hey bank, your stupid good for nothing card had no CVMs I support but look I gathered an online PIN for you!
[Bank] There, there machine, it'll all be okay. Here's an approval code.
[Machine] Thanks bank! Here's your tickets customer.

In that interaction, the PIN itself never even would get checked.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 9:11 am
  #235  
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
SPG's 1.7 cent is conservative as well.
SPG at 1.7c is very conservative. Average hotel redemption value is close to 2c, so redemption for properties in the highest value quartile will be way above that. My average value is currently over 5c for hotels and 10c for points transferred to AA (with bonus offers). It's hard, as everyone's valuations will be different.

Now that I've had time to make some foreign transactions, my experiences for 2016 have been:

1) Mastercard 0.9933 vs xe.com.

2) Visa 1.0027 vs xe.com, dramatically improved.
(May be relevant that it was mostly AUD transactions and the AUD has been mostly very stable.)

3) Amex 1.0026 vs xe.com. Still by far the hardest to gauge, as it's erratic. The only reason the average isn't closer to MC is because of one transaction at 2.5% worse than the xe.com rate! Sometimes, it's more stable than the market rates too.
e.g. AUD transactions on 3 adjacent days.
xe.com rates for those days: 0.7359, 0.7425, 0.7437
Amex rates I received: 0.7373, 0.7374, 0.7374
Amex/xe.com: 1.0019, 0.9931, 0.9914
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Old Mar 8, 16, 9:16 am
  #236  
mia
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Moderator observation

THREAD DRIFT: Point valuation is off topic for this thread. Please focus on differences in exchange rates and fees. Point valuation is exhaustively discussed in many threads across Flyertalk.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 4:47 pm
  #237  
 
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So far this month, the difference in Euro/USD exchange rates between MC and Visa averages 0.6% (MC better for US persons), with a range of 0.2% to 1.2%. Neither report for weekend days (MC says no value, Visa copies Friday). This is based on their web sites.

I don't have any way to compare Amex. If someone has values for each day of March, please post.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 6:15 pm
  #238  
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
If someone has values for each day of March, please post.
1 = .911
2 = .918
3 = .919
4 = .913
5 = .913
6 = .913
7 = .905
8 = .910

This calculator is displayed on the International Dollar Card. Someone should verify that it matches actual rates on a USA-issued card.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 6:50 pm
  #239  
 
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Using mia's numbers, and blanking the 5th and 6th (given that MC doesn't report and they just repeat the 4th for Visa and MC), averages for March 1-8 were (to five decimal places)

MC, 1.08974
Amex, 1.09572
Visa, 1.096407

On 1,000 EUR of charges for this period, Amex would cost about $6.00 more than MC and Visa would cost about $6.65 more.

I don't know if these dates are representative of other or longer periods or if the rates on the web sites match actual charges.
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Old Mar 9, 16, 12:11 am
  #240  
 
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I legitimately think that MasterCard naturally uses lower exchange rates most of the time and that MasterCard charges the 1.1% fee (which is really a 0.9% fee and a 0.2% fee). The two usually balance each other out.

At least that's my explanation since it seems to make the most sense to me. I have not looked at the numbers in a while to verify this.
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